Brazil’s Lula ‘to be President Dilma’s chief of staff’

BBC News – 03/16/16

Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will become the new chief of staff for President Dilma Rousseff, a senior lawmaker says.

The move shields Lula from possible prosecution by a federal judge investigating a massive corruption scandal named Operation Car Wash.

Under Brazilian law, cabinet members can only be tried by the Supreme Court.

Lula was questioned two weeks ago over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash.

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Brazil Institute director Paulo Sotero on Lula charged

Paulo Cabral, Paulo Sotero – CCTV America, 03/10/2016

In Brazil, it has been nearly a week since ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was questioned and then released by police.

Now he’s facing charges in connection with a corruption scandal at the state oil company “Petrobras”.CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Paulo Sotero about the political turmoil in Brazil. He is the director of the Brazil Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar.

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Brazilian Real, stocks rally as traders root for impeachment

Rousseff Campaign Chief Santana Surrenders to Brazilian Police

Reuters, 02/23/2016

João Santana, the architect of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s 2010 and 2014 campaigns, returned to Brazil and police are taking him to the city of Curitiba, the epicenter of a massive corruption probe, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Police said on Monday they had a warrant for Santana’s arrest after evidence showed engineering conglomerate Odebrecht had paid him funds siphoned from state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA in offshore accounts.

Santana said in a statement he was quitting the re-election campaign of Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina in order to defend himself from “baseless accusations.”

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Brazil a Bright Spot for Debt Restructuring Advisors as Recession Bites Hard

Tatiana Bautzer, GuillermoParra-Bernal – Reuters, 01/28/2016

Debt restructuring firms are poised to pull in record amounts of business in Brazil this year as the country’s worst recession in decades and a corruption probe that has cast a shadow over dozens of companies leads to a surge in defaults.

While a slump in prices is squeezing commodities producers – from sugar mills to oil producers and miners – the “Operation Car Wash” investigation into political kickbacks at state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA is also hitting many of its suppliers.

Soaring consumer delinquencies as Brazil’s interest rates hit their highest levels for nearly a decade are also putting some major retailers and homebuilders in line for painful reorganizations. Scenting an opportunity, U.S. restructuring shops including FTI Consulting Inc, Houlihan Lokey Inc, and Moelis & Co have set up shop in Brazil over the past three years to vie for mandates with local banks and independent advisors.

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Brazil police arrest former presidential chief of staff

Sergio Spagnuolo – Reuters, 8/3/2015 

Brazil’s federal police on Monday arrested former government minister Jose Dirceu, one of the most senior members of the ruling Workers’ Party to be jailed so far in a probe of alleged corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Dirceu, chief-of-staff in Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s administration between 2003 and 2005, was already under house detention for conducting a vote-buying scheme. His involvement in an even larger scandal threatens to further tarnish the popular former president’s legacy.

Federal prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima said during a press conference that Dirceu was one of the key instigators of the Petrobras scandal and took bribes while in office.

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Brazil police raid homes of former president and two congressmen

JOE LEAHY, THE FINANCIAL TIMES – 7/15/2015 

Brazilian police raided the homes of former president and current Senator Fernando Collor and two other sitting congressmen on Tuesday in a sharp escalation of an investigation into corruption at state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Police drive away a Ferrari from the home of Fernando Collor, a former president and sitting senator

Police drive away a Ferrari from the home of Fernando Collor, a former president and sitting senator

As part of the operation, which sparked an angry rebuke from Mr Collor and Senate leader Renan Calheiros, police confiscated a Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari that local media pictured being removed from the former president’s house.

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Lava Jato Investigations will continue, as painful as it may be

Eliane Cantanhêde and Andreza Matais – O Estado de S.Paulo, 7/04/2015

Andre Dusek/Estadao

Photo by Andre Dusek/Estadao

A man of few words, the director-general of the Federal Brazilian Police, Leandro Daiello came out of anonymity to state, in an interview to Estado that no one will be exempt from the law. The ongoing investigations will proceed even if they lead to President Rousseff or former President Lula, he said. “We investigate facts, not people. Where those facts take us is a consequence of the investigation itself, as painful as it may be”.

Originally from the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Daiello has been and director-general of the Brazilian equivalent to the FBI since 2011. He used the expression “as painful as it may be” three times during the interview, to make clear that the Federal Police is an independent institution with solid rules of conduct, and that investigations are to continue “with or without José Eduardo Cardozo as justice minister, and with or without Daiello leading the Federal Police”.

Continue reading “Lava Jato Investigations will continue, as painful as it may be”

Brazil: Oily mess

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 05/14/2015

In Brazil’s hyper-consumerist society, people are accustomed to paying for everything in instalments, from fridges and televisions to silicon breast implants. But less commonly known is that even bribes to political parties can allegedly be paid parcelado, as the practice of paying in instalments is called.

That is what Augusto Ribeiro de Mendonça Neto, a former board member of oil and gas services company Toyo Setal, claimed in testimony in March. He alleges that he paid bribes to the ruling centre-left Workers’ party, or PT, between 2010 and 2013 in exchange for winning contracts with state-owned oil company, Petrobras.

The allegations form part of an investigation into a vast corruption scandal at Petrobras known as “car wash”. As part of the probe, Mr Mendonça told prosecutors that João Vaccari Neto, former PT treasurer, asked him to disguise the bribes as payments to a printing and advertising company named Editora Gráfica Atitude.

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